Regulation of cyclooxygenase activity in cultured endometrial stromal cells by granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor

Fertil Steril. 2006 Apr;85 Suppl 1:1118-24. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2005.09.040.


Objective: To assess the ability of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) to regulate cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme activity and prostaglandins (PGs) synthesis, specifically PGE2 production in stromal cells, neither of which have been addressed in the literature.

Design: Prospective study.

Setting: Department of obstetrics and gynecology at a university hospital.

Patient(s): Human luteal phase endometrium was obtained from surgical specimens (n = 6) for clinical indications.

Intervention(s): Confluent stromal cells were stimulated with GM-CSF.

Main outcome measure(s): Expression of COX mRNA, COX enzyme activity, and PGE2 level in cultured stromal cells.

Result(s): Confluent stromal cell cultures treated with P and E2 for 9 days were stimulated with GM-CSF. After treatment of 12 hours, low-dose GM-CSF (0.001-0.1 ng/mL) increased COX-2 mRNA levels in stromal cell, whereas high dose GM-CSF (1-100 ng/mL) decreased COX-1 and COX-2 mRNA levels. After treatment of 48 hours, low concentrations of GM-CSF (0.001-0.1 ng/mL) increased total COX and COX-2 enzyme activity, whereas high concentrations of GM-CSF (1-100 ng/mL) inhibited COX and COX-2 activity; The PGE2 levels decreased by 31% to 393.3 pg/mL (P < .05) with concentrations of GM-CSF increasing from 1 ng/mL to 100 ng/mL.

Conclusion(s): There appeared to be a biphasic pattern of COX-2 enzyme response to GM-CSF with low concentrations increasing activity and high concentrations inhibiting activity. It is possible that GM-CSF may provide critical regulation of PG production in the preimplantation period.

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cyclooxygenase 1 / metabolism*
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism*
  • Dinoprostone / metabolism*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endometrium / drug effects
  • Endometrium / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Female
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Stromal Cells / drug effects
  • Stromal Cells / enzymology*


  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Dinoprostone